Notch: cancelled Minecraft for Oculus Rift would have been free

Was designed to promote virtual reality.

Earlier this week Minecraft creator Notch cancelled an Oculus Rift version of the game in protest at Facebook's $2bn purchase of Oculus. But what kind of game was that going to be?

According to Notch, it would have been a free version of the phenomenally successful build anything sandbox designed to promote virtual reality.

Notch revealed the now scrapped plans on Twitter last night after ex-Gears of War developer and Oculus investor Cliff Bleszinski wrote a blog post defending the Facebook deal.

In the blog post, Bleszinski called out the "outrage" from some quarters about Facebook's purchase of Oculus, saying: "Your device is only as good as the store and community around it; if users can't say shut up and take my money, if developers can't post their work then the device will ultimately flounder. Facebook can assist with this sort of thing, as well as having a multi billion user reach."

At the end of the post Bleszinski questioned Notch's decision to pull the plug on Minecraft for Oculus Rift. He said: "p.s. Notch, your cancelling Minecraft makes you look like a pouty kid who is taking his ball and going home. It's a bratty and petty move and it saddens me greatly."

This seemed to get Notch's back up. On Twitter he responded: "CliffyB, one of the investors in Oculus, calls me a "pouty kid" for cancelling the Minecraft thing. Damn straight I am."

Then: "also, the "ball i'm taking home" was a potential free version of Minecraft designed to promote VR."

Bleszinski wasn't the only person to question Notch's decision. Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Luckey had his say on Facebook: "He had the Rift for a year and had not even tried the Minecraft mod (which is really good), much less done any exploration work. I think Notch is a super cool guy, but it is really easy to 'cancel' a project that was never started as an out."

Notch elaborated on this in a conversation with Kotaku, saying he'd built several prototypes for games for the Oculus Rift, and the mobile Minecraft development team had worked on an Oculus Rift prototype of the game. This potential free version of Minecraft might have been called Minecraft VR Edition, he added.

All's well that ends well, though. Notch and Bleszinski seem to have worked it out over Twitter.

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